Look At The Bones

Real Estate Agent with Resource One Realty, LLC

Whenever I'm showing properties to buyers that are new to me, I make a point of rushing them down to the basement of the home first thing so we can look at the "bones".   I don't want them getting hung up on what i call the pretty pretty aspects of the home.

I make the analogy that a house is like a living thing.  The furnace is the heart, the insulation the skin and the foundation is the bones.  I point out any issues with the bones that I see.  I teach them to look for water stains on the floor, dark spots on the insulation as well as to examine the flooring system, i.e. I joist, trusses, dimensional etc., age of the furnace and the water heater.

It funny because by our second or third trip out, they themselves even refer to "checking out the bones".  While room sizes, layout  and sq. ft. are very important, in my mind, the structure of the house is more important.  By the time my buyers are ready to purchase a home, they know all the terminology as well as what to look for as potential problem areas. 

I caution them that our home analysis does not take the place of a home inspection by a licensed inspector but it does give them a leg up on understanding what they may be potentially buying. 

Take care. 


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James G. Pycha
James Pycha (R) - REMAX KAUAI - Princeville, HI
(R), REMAX Kauai Broker

Hi Cindy:

I've noticed also that when my buyers are ready to purchase a home, they know all the terminology are familiar with the potential problem areas. 

I also advise them that a their home "inspection" can not take the place of a Professional home inspection but will them a leg up on understanding what they may be potentially buying.  Hey ... what's your marketdoing now --- Dropping more ?? Here in Hawaii many Buyers are just sitting on the fence until more drops are seen.  How about you?  Aloha   JIM

Sep 17, 2008 08:54 PM #1
Keller Williams Legacy Group Realty - Green, OH

I believe it is good to start somewhere the same each time with your buyers. Now if you don't have a bsaement, the bones could be in the attic, crawl space, outside the structure etc.

The theme of the message is be consistant in your showings.  However, if you are not getting good response and writing offers on some of those homes, maybe change your system to one that is receptive to that particular clients. Some clients don't like the xray shots and are only interested in the skin.

Richard Woods

 Green, Ohio

Sep 17, 2008 09:04 PM #2
Retired Notworking
Tallahassee, FL

This is a different approach and one worth considering. In Fl, we don't have basements, but there are other "bones" we can consider.

Sep 17, 2008 10:13 PM #3
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

When my husband and I bought our first home in Spokane, WA, those "bones" were so scary that I opted for a home without a basement!  But in our "first time homebuyer" price range, all the basements were unfinished, VERY small, usually too short for upright walking, had plenty of spiderwebs, and usually a ladder to get down instead of stairs. 

Great approach.  No matter how scary the basement is, much of the structure of the home is visible and can be easily checked. 

Sep 17, 2008 10:30 PM #4
Chip Jefferson
Gibbs Realty and Auction Company - Columbia, SC

I have never considered that way of showing. My husband is a GC and as I show he usually inspects the "bones" of the home. Being built right is his forte!

Sep 17, 2008 11:03 PM #5
Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville

What a great place to start. We have so many old "ladies" (homes that are 50 years or older) that looking at the sturdy "bones" is a great solid beginning.

Sep 17, 2008 11:20 PM #6
Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer
Russel Ray - San Diego State University, CA

Here's my little poem on what a house is:


I wrote it, but Jim uses it more than I do.

Sep 22, 2008 03:05 PM #7
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Cindy Leiterman

Green Bay, WI
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